Audit reports rips Nebraska gambling commission

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) _ Less than a year into its existence, a state commission charged with helping problem gamblers has been castigated by the state auditor's office for its handling of two contracts that appear to violate the state's conflict-of-interest laws.

State Auditor Mike Foley issued a report late Tuesday on the Nebraska Commission on Problem Gambling, formed in July 2013. Foley says the commission named Jerry Bauerkemper, director of the not-for-profit Nebraska Council on Compulsive Gambling, as its interim director. Bauerkemper took a leave of absence as the not-for-profit's director, but remained employed by it even as the public commission he headed awarded two contracts valued at more than $200,000 to Bauerkemper's organization without bidding out the work.

Foley also questions whether Bauerkemper's organization provided the work it was paid to do.

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